Hiding your valuables


lettuce-safe

The average home burglary is a hit and run affair – burglars generally spend 8 to 12 minutes ransacking a home to find cash and valuables. Experts say that bedrooms are one of the first places checked – in bedside tables, in bureaus, and under the mattress. Bathrooms and kitchens are a high search target – often burglars are looking for drugs or money hidden in the “sugar bowl.” Also, home offices and desks are often the place where safes or valuable documents are kept.

Deadbolt locks, lights and alarms are all good deterrents. You should also take precautions before going on a trip. Plus, if you have any prized or valuable collections, make sure you tell your agent and talk over a rider to your homeowners policy to ensure they are covered should your security measures fail.

All that being said, we enjoyed some of the ideas presented in 8 Secret Spots to Hide Valuables at Home. We particularly liked the “Head of Iceberg Lettuce Safe” pictured above which is linked in the article. This is an unusual version of what are often called diversion safes – common household objects either hollowed out or with hidden compartments.

This article reminded us of some creative ways to camouflage your laptop if you worry about theft at the airport or the coffee shop.

Laptop Pizza Box disguise

How to make a laptop sleeve from a FedEx envelope

Make your Macbook a classic

Happy Thanksgiving! Have some turkeys…


Here’s wishing all our readers a happy and safe Thanksgiving. In honor of the holiday, we have a few fun turkey-related clips to share – and one inspirational one. We’ll start off with one  from “the secret lives of turkeys” file – it’s called Turkey Dubstep.

Of course, when they aren’t dubstepping, they can be pretty peckish – maybe in revenge for Thanksgiving! Last year, we ran a few clips of temperamental turkeys in our post Real Life Angry Birds. Here are a few more clips of random turkey attacks to add to the mix:

Finally, moving away from turkey mayhem, we close on a more serious note with a touching clip that gets to the true heart of the holiday: giving thanks. While the holidays are a fun time for many, for some families, it’s a struggle to make ends meet. To bring some surprise holiday cheer, a group of “reverse “pranksters” surprise shoppers by picking up their Thanksgiving grocery bill at the cash register. It’s touching!

A Thanksgiving Cautionary Remix from William Shatner


Planning on frying your turkey this year? We have some tips from the Captain. William Shatner offers some autotuned safety advice about deep frying turkeys – a fun video with a serious message.

Think he is exaggerating the dangers? Check out these Eight Explosive Deep-Fried Turkey Disaster Videos – pretty scary!

Even if you don’t plan to deep fry your dinner, be cautious in the kitchen –  Red Cross says that cooking fires nearly double on Thanksgiving Day, occurring more than twice as often than on another day. They offer some Thanksgiving kitchen safety tips. (PDF)

November is peak deer-auto collision month


November is the month when auto-deer collisions are most likely to occur in New England. The average claim for deer-vehicle collisions is about $3,000 — much more if you factor in the cost of human injuries. Here’s a pop quiz: which New England state has the highest odds for hitting a moose and which has the lowest? The answers might be a little different than think: See this chart for likelihood of collision with a deer by state (PDF) or see the end of this article for just New England states..

Deer-car collisions can also be fatal for more than the deer. According to Massachusetts authorities, about 1 in 2,500 deer collisions results in human fatality

Moose are a whole different ballgame: 1 in 75 moose/vehicle collisions result in a fatality. And no wonder – A full grown moose can stand 6 feet tall at should height, considerably taller when you factor in the head and antlers. Antlers can be massive, with a span of 4 to 6 feet. At up to 1400 pounds in weight, you simply don’t want to hit one.

Check out this 12-step illustrated guide from wikiHow on how to avoid a moose deer collision. The New Hampshire Fish & Game folks also offer some good advice: Avoid Deer/Vehicle Collisions and Brake for moose, it could save your life.

Dangerous moose myth

There’s a persistent dangerous myth that often surfaces about moose-car collisions: some think that if a collision looks inevitable, you should accelerate so the impact will potentially hurtle the animal over the vehicle. Bad idea – MythBusters put this to the test on am Alaska episode using a moose dummy.

“The MythBusters steered a car motoring at 45 miles per hour into Lucy three times: once slowing down, once speeding up and once while maintaining the same speed. The wreckage revealed that slowing down is by far the safest option when running into a moose. Faster speeds deliver a greater force of impact, which the moose absorbs and delivers with a more powerful, damaging smackdown on top of the auto.”

The biggest thing about deer, moose and other wildlife is the surprising speed at which they can appear so moderating your speed is essential, particularly in animal zones during daylight and dusk. And even when they appear stationary, moose have been known to charge cars – especially if they have babies to protect, as in this clip of a protective Mama moose.

New England States – deer collision odds

  • Vermont 1 in 180
  • Maine 1 in 207
  • New Hampshire 1 in 279
  • Connecticut 1 in 299
  • Rhode Island 1 in 373
  • Massachusetts 1 in 524

Insurance and the YOLO Approach to Life


It’s Friday of a holiday weekend so we’re offering a little amusement. Some people have a YOLO philosophy and approach to life, but we in the insurance industry wouldn’t advise unnecessary risks just for kicks – some things in life are actually dangerous, and it’s not always what you might think. This YOLO video clip featuring Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar say is better than we ever could. But if this doesn’t dissuade you from the YOLO approach to life, here’s our final advice: Make sure your life insurance policy is up to date!